Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus 香港歌劇院兒童合唱團

Grand Opera

Grand Opera – Turandot

Date: 10 to 14 October 2018 (5 performances)
Venue: Grand Theatre of Hong Kong Cultural Centre

An Opera in Three Acts
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Completed by Franco Alfano
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
Performed in Italian with Chinese and English Surtitles

A Production of Opera Hong Kong and New York City Opera

Producer: Warren Mok
Conductor: Paolo Olmi
Director: Michael Capasso
Set Designer: John Farrell
Costume Designer: Ildiko Debreczeni
Lighting Designer: Susan Roth
Choreographer: Richard Stafford

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus

Puccini’s Turandot, first premiered in 1926 and set in Imperial Peking, opens with notoriously bloody scene as the Prince of Persia befalls the same destiny as many previous suitors of the Princess Turandot, and is executed, having failed to answer correctly the Princess’s three riddles. It is as Princess Turandot appears to order the execution to take place that Calàf, Prince of Tartary, standing amidst the mob outside the palace, sees her and instantly falls in love. The opera traces his unlikely success in answering the Princess’s three riddles, challenging her to find his name by midnight when she still, despite his victory, refuses his hand. Finally, as her feelings towards her suitor begin to soften, she proclaims she has uncovered his name: love.

Rather than modernise the audience’s expectations of Turandot, Director Michael Capasso seeks to contextualise our expectations of the opera. The direction and set design by John Farrell are opulent and luxuriant, unpacking what Puccini and his 19th century peers considered Imperial China to represent. The completely red set is sumptuous with imperial finishings and furniture, representing at once the bloodshed and terror of Turandot’s challenges to her suitors, as well as the passion of the Prince Calàf and Princess Turandot’s love towards the end of the opera.

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